The provisional results have confirmed there is little change at the top across Taranaki's three district councils, with the incumbent mayors of Stratford and New Plymouth both being returned to their seats.

In South Taranaki, with no incumbent standing, the top job went to former deputy mayor Phil Nixon.

The South Taranaki District Council preliminary election results show Nixon with 5253 votes, ahead of Craig Baylis (1931) and Clem Coxhead (1052). Former mayor Ross Dunlop decided to stand down at this election after 21 years as a councillor and 12 years as mayor.

Despite Taranaki Regional Council having faced what might be termed a controversial term with Yarrow Stadium decision making the subject of much discussion, all bar one of the incumbents retained their seats.


The one newcomer at the Regional Council is Elvisa van der Leden, with Bev Raine missing out. At 28, Elvisa is the youngest regional councillor as well as being the only newcomer this term.

There are some new and young faces at the Stratford District Council as well, with newcomer Min McKay aged 29 and fellow newcomer Amanda Harris 31. Min and Amanda are joined by a third newcomer Vaughan Jones, with the remaining seven councillors all incumbents. With two of last term's councillors, Kelvin Squire and Keryn Walsh, not having sought re-election, Graham Kelly was the only Councillor seeking re-election not to have been successful.

Min, who is the only new urban Councillor this term, says she is thankful to those who voted for her "and took a chance on a fresh face".

"I am looking forward to learning many new skills and understanding about our community and the impact we can make as a Council. The long term plan is on the agenda over the coming years so I am pleased to offer an opinion from a younger generation towards this plan.'

Two out of the four rural councillors are fresh faces this term, with Vaughan Jones joining Amanda at the table.

Thanking voters for their confidence in him, Vaughan says he is looking forward to the challenge, recognising there is a lot to learn.

"I am also looking forward to working and learning from the other councillors to make sound decisions that benefit and represent the Stratford community."

Amanda is not only one of the youngest councillors at the table, she also received the most votes in the rural ward. Preliminary results put her in the number one spot with 886 votes, with incumbent Grant Boyde a close second with 881 votes.


Amanda says she is "truly humbled" by her high polling.

"I was somewhat confident heading into the election but I really didn't expect this level of voter confidence, for which I am extremely grateful.

It was pleasing that voter turnout was up from the last election and especially pleasing that rural voters currently have the lead on urban voters."

Amanda says she is looking forward to the coming term.

" I am really excited about continuing the great work on a number of exciting projects happening in Stratford like the subdivision, swimming pool, bike park etc."

In the urban ward, the highest polling candidate was Jono Erwood with 1476 votes. Headed into his third term as an urban Councillor, Jono says he was "ecstatic" with the result.

"I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and showed trust in me. It is a privilege to represent the urban ward. I am looking forward to the completion of current projects and future endeavours as well as supporting and advocating for the community that elected me."

The most experienced Councillor at the table this term is John Sandford, who is entering his ninth term as an Urban Councillor, having already served 24 years.

He says he enjoys the work as much as when he first started, describing it as a way to give back to the community he loves.

Having made no secret of his support for Mayor Neil Volzke at the Stratford Press Meet the Candidates Evening, it is no surprise John says he is delighted with the makeup of the new Council.

"We have a great mayor and a good team, supported by good Council staff."

You never stop learning in the role, he says, and the term ahead brings plenty of challenges and exciting projects.

"I would have been really disappointed to have missed out on staying in Council to see these projects continue on."

The new swimming pool and subdivision are two of the projects he is excited about, as well as the bike park plans.

Stratford District Council CEO Sven Hanne says he is pleased with the increase in voter turnout this year, with 51 per cent of eligible voters having their say.

"With over half of our eligible voters having their say, the community has given the successfully elected members a strong mandate to represent their best interests over the next three years."

The results include some record achievements, he says, saying it is the first time since 1995 Stratford District Council has had three elected female councillors at the table.

Added to that, Amanda and Min are the youngest Councillors to be elected onto Stratford District Council since 1989, when the County and Borough Councils combined to create the Council.

"It's great to see increased diversity among elected members which will add value to decision making over the next three years," says Sven.

Election results - preliminary:
Stratford District Council:
Mayor - 1 seat
Elected: Neil Volzke (2,249)
Graham Kelly (728)
Rawinia Henderson (329)

Rural Ward - 4 seats
Elected: Amanda Harris (886)
Elected: Grant Boyde (881)
Elected: Rick Coplestone (786)
Elected; Vaughan Jones (495)
Nicole McDonald (473)
Graham Kelly (393)
Stephen Dravitzki (292)

Urban Ward - 6 seats
Elected; Jono Erwood (1476)
Elected: Gloria Webby (1348)
Elected: Alan Jamieson (1292)
Elected: John Sandford (1157)
Elected: Peter Dalziel (1078)
Elected: Min McKay (869)
Rawinia Henderson (676)
Mathew Watt (562)
Christopher James (397)
Laurie Gooch (353)
Tony Milham (331)
John Gray (300)
Ivan Toopi (241)

Taranaki Regional Council:

Stratford constituency (one seat)

Matthew McDonald was uncontested and is elected.

North Taranaki constituency (two seats)

Elected: Mike Davey (4481)
Elected: Donald McIntyre (3412)
Chris Wilkes: (2581)

New Plymouth constituency (five seats)

Elected: David Lean (9813)
Elected: Charlotte Littlewood (9719)
Elected: Craig Williamson (9487)
Elected: Tom Cloke (9373)
Elected: Elvisa Van Der Leden (6698)
Bev Raine (6208)
Rusty Kane (5274)
Bob Waugh (4871)
Mike Swift (4722)

South Taranaki constituency (three seats)

Elected: Neil Walker (4736)
Elected : Michael Joyce (4598)
Elected : David MacLeod (4255)
Alan Murray: (4123)

South Taranaki District Council:

Elected: Phil Nixon (5253)
Craig Baylis: (1931)
Clem Coxhead: (1052)

Eltham-Kaponga Ward 2 seats
Elected: Steffy Mackay (614)
Elected: Mark Bellringer (585)
Gordon Lawson (429)
Lindsay Craig Maindonald (311)

Pātea Ward 2 seats
Elected: Robert Northcott (834)
Elected: Brian Rook (761)
Dean Charles Kahu (255)

Taranaki Coastal Ward 3 seats
Elected: Bryan Roach (1010)
Elected: Aarun Langton (846)
Elected: Chris Young (841)
Clem Coxhead (553)
Scott Wilson (503)
Lee Alexander Hurley (331)
Alan Moffitt (234)

Te Hāwera Ward 5 seats
Elected: Gary Brown (2830)
Elected: Andy Beccard (2787)
Elected: Jack Rangiwahia (2419)
Elected: Diana Reid (2024)
Elected: Celine Filbee (2007)
Raquel Cleaver (2002)
Frederick Te Rawha Kumeroa (1776)
Karl Stratton (1243)
Paul Farr (759)
Margie Gray (644)
Dee Gegde (546)

Eltham-Kaponga Community Board 4 seats
Elected: Steffy Mackay (650)
Elected: Karen Cave (618)
Elected: Sonya Douds (500)
Elected: Alan Hawkes (455)
Dianne Anderson (420)
Lindsay Craig Maindonald (425)
Jim Turahui (324)

Taranaki Coastal Community Board 4 seats
Elected: Andy Whitehead (1071)
Elected: Liz Sinclair (936)
Elected: Sharlee Mareikura (709)
Elected: Bonita Bigham (735)
Brian Vincent (674)
Daphne Sinclair-Holley (652)
Ray Hayward (471)

Te Hāwera Community Board 4 seats
Elected: Celine Filbee (2629)
Elected: Nikki Watson (2073)
Elected: Raymond Buckland (1983)
Elected: Wayne Bigham (1952)
Russell Hockley (1900)
Desiree Bond (1680)

New Plymouth District Council:

Elected: Neil Holdom (13714)
Max Brough (6956)
Joanne Kuvarji (1869)
Greg MacKay (1061)
Bill Simpson (694)
Irene Godkin (667)

City Ward:
Elected: Stacey Hitchcock (2021)
Elected: Gordon Brown (1947)
Elected: Harry Duynhoven (1865)
Elected: Murray Chong (1679)
Elected: Sam Bennett (1673)
Elected: Richard Handley (1666)
Elected: Amanda Clinton-Gohdes (1693)
Elected: Dinnie Moeahu (1722)
Elected:Anneka Carlson (1596)
Elected: Phil Quinney (1590)
David Bublitz (1589)
Howie Tamati (1161)
Colin Bell (893)
Sarah Foy (829)
Katherine Blaney (620)
Joanne Kuvarji (565)
Rob Needs (493)
Deb Tawa (449)
Greg Mackay (372)
Bev Gibson (301)
Selwyn Watkins (259)
Mike Crow (213)
Chris Manukonga (186)
Jack Newsome (176)
louise James (155)
Dwayne Sherwood (127)
Bruce Gatward-Cook (109)
Irene Godkin (85)
Jonathon Marshall (64)
Barbara Fakavamoeanga (39)

North Ward:
Elected: Tony Bedford (1202)
Elected: Colin Bedford (1152)
John Williams (564)
Bill Simpson (330)

South Ward:
Elected: Marie Pearce (1189)
Elected: Richard Jordan (1130)
Peter Henderson (1034)
Chris Hale (406)

Waitara Community Board:
Elected: Trevor Dodunski (686)
Elected: Joe Rauner (585)
Elected: Andew Larsen (488)
Elected: Jonathon Marshall (458)
Josephine Moore (387)
Irene Godkin (130)

Kaitake Community Board - automatically elected - Graham Chard, Paul Coxhead, Doug Hislop and Paul Veric.

​Inglewood Community Board - automatically elected - Mel Cook and Graeme Hamilton Sykes. A by-election is needed for the remaining two seats.

Clifton Community Board - automatically elected - Ken Bedford and Warren Petersen. A by-election is needed for the remaining two seats.

Taranaki District Health Board:
The seven successful candidates at this stage of preliminary results are:
Alison Brown, Mike Davey, Harry Duynhoven, David Lean, Pauline Lockett, Kevin Nielsen and Paul Veric
A further four people will be added to the board as ministerial appointments.